‘Barn-find’ gems: Ferrari, Cobra rescued, set for Gooding’s Amelia Island auction

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The 1966 Ferrari 275 GTB alloy, still covered in dirt | Mathieu Heurtault/Gooding

A pair of incredible “barn-find” classic sports cars, recently brought out into the sunlight after 26 years storage in a private garage in North Carolina, will be presented as-found next month at Gooding & Company’s Amelia Island auction.

The two cars – a rare 1966 Ferrari 275 GTB long-nose alloy coupe and a 1967 Shelby 427 Cobra roadster – are in well-preserved condition after decades of repose. They were driven into the newly constructed garage in 1991 by the owner, where they remained untouched until their recent recovery.

Still owned by the same man who parked them side-by-side in 1991, the Ferrari and the Cobra are each valued at more than a million dollars.

The two cars as they were found in the North Carolina garage | Jordan Lewis/Gooding

“The recent discovery of these two cars is a historic automotive moment and the offering of these time capsules at public sale is truly a momentous occasion,” according to a Gooding news release.

The Ferrari 275 GTB, which has an estimated value of $2.5 million to $3.25 million, was designed by Pininfarina with coachwork by Scaglietti, and is one of just 80 produced with lightweight-aluminum bodies. Chassis 08125 is finished in silver with a blue interior, and was purchased by the current owner in March 1985.  The car has just over 13,000 miles on its odometer. 

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The Cobra, chassis number CSX3278, is valued at $1 million to $1.3 million. The current owner purchased the red-over-black roadster in 1980 with just 13,000 miles on its odometer, to which he added another 6,000 before putting it in the garage of his then-new home. The Cobra remains fitted with its Peter Brock-designed “sunburst” wheels with period Goodyear Wingfoot tires.

The 427 Cobra remains in pristine condition | Mathieu Heurtault/Gooding

The red roadster is in pristine condition, without a roll bar, side pipes, scoops or stripes, Gooding notes, “just an honest, unrestored big-block Cobra.” The engine was “recently fired back to life with limited mechanical sorting.”

The Ferrari also has had its mighty 3.3-liter V12 engine restarted, and the car has even made a public appearance since coming out of seclusion. In January, the owner arranged to have the coupe presented at the Palm Beach Cavallino Classic, where it became one of the stars of the show when it was driven onto the field, still covered in dust.

“We are honored to present these significant collector cars to the world after decades in hiding,” David Gooding, president and founder of the auction company, said in the release. “To discover either one of these cars would be unbelievable, but to find both, incredibly well-preserved and untouched in one garage, truly excites me as an enthusiast.” 

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The Gooding auction takes place March 9 at Omni Amelia Island Plantation. For information, visit the auction website.

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Bob Golfen is a longtime automotive writer and editor, focusing on new vehicles, collector cars, car culture and the automotive lifestyle. He is the former automotive writer and editor for The Arizona Republic and SPEED.com, the website for the SPEED motorsports channel. He has written free-lance articles for a number of publications, including Autoweek, The New York Times and Barrett-Jackson auction catalogs. A collector car enthusiast with a wide range of knowledge about the old cars that we all love and desire, Bob enjoys tinkering with archaic machinery. His current obsession is a 1962 Porsche 356 Super coupe.

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